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Meet Jerry Litwaitis!

Jerry was born in St. Claire, Michigan, and moved to Park Falls, Wisconsin when he was 4 years-old. He graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a Bachelors of Business Administration with a Comprehensive Finance Degree in April 1992. He then moved to Marshfield and has worked at MMCCU since April of 1992.

Jerry enjoys working with the members and getting to know them on a personal level. Jerry enjoys fishing, hunting and being in the outdoors.  He is also a huge sports fan. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Crystal, and two beautiful daughters, Sierra and Sydney.

Teaching Your Kids About Spending

Last week, we shared some fun tips to help teach your kids about saving. This week, we’re focusing on “spending”!

Elementary School:

If your kids are in elementary school, it’s a great time to talk to them about money. When children are this young, it’s important to keep everything simple and stick to the basics. Kids learn best by doing. Here are some ideas to get started:

• Discuss the difference between needs vs. wants. Help your child make a list of the things they need and the items they want. The items they want are things for which they should be saving.
• Start a weekly allowance. Kids thrive when there’s structure, but it’s important to permit freedom so that they can envision their own ways to make money.
• Teach choice. A good way to demonstrate that spending is not the only option is to utilize two storage jars — one for saving and one for spending.
• Use cash. Elementary-aged kids can’t usually comprehend the idea of credit. Teach your child about the different monetary bills and coins by paying with cash when they are shopping with you.

Middle School:

Middle schoolers are more aware of the value of money, so it’s important to emphasize the importance of saving during these preteen years. They are also able to understand more complicated financial terms.

• Demonstrate how you save. Share with your middle schooler what you’re currently saving for. When you reach your goal, allow them to take part in the celebration.
• Develop a budget.  When shopping for something for your teen (like a new winter coat or school supplies), outline how much you’re willing to spend and what your preteen will be responsible for spending.
• Introduce the concept of work. Middle schoolers can benefit from learning the concept of work and responsibility. Babysitting and lawn mowing are great things to suggest for first jobs.
• Tackle more complicated money topics. Explain to your preteen concepts like credit vs. debit cards, introduce financial terms like stock market and interest, and show your preteen how to write and deposit a check.

High School:

If your child has grown up learning the money tips mentioned above, they are likely ready to have more control over their finances. Here are some ways to empower your high schooler to embrace their financial independence:

• Accompany your teen to open up their own savings account. Allow your child to be responsible for checking up on their account and managing their payments.
• Use mistakes as teaching moments. If your teen overdrafts their account, it’s ok! It happens. Use this as an opportunity to understand the mistake and discuss how it can be avoided in the future.
• Talk about college tuition. College is not cheap, and budgeting for higher education is critical. Talk to your teen about what they are expected to pay for, including tuition, dining out, organizational fees, and the cost of social activities, as well as any loans that they might be responsible for paying back after college.

Teaching Your Kids About Saving

Teaching children about finances is important and with so many kids at home right now, it might be just the right time to do so. Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union is dedicated to helping our members of all ages, and with CUNA’s “Youth Month” approaching, we’ll be sharing tips to teach your kids about different areas of finance.

From MMCCU: For our first topic, we’re featuring SAVING. Saving money is one of the most important aspects of building wealth and having a secure financial foundation. Here are five ways to teach your child about SAVING:

Start with a piggy bank

A piggy bank can be a great way to teach your kids the importance of saving, while giving them an easy way to do it.  Tell your kids that the goal is to fill up the piggy bank with dollars and coins, until there is no room.  Illustrate that the piggy bank is for saving money for the future and that the more they save, the more their money will grow.

Open a savings account

Once the piggy bank is full, take your child to the credit union to open up a savings account for them. Have them count how much money is going to be deposited, so they can have a physical understanding of how much money they have.  Show them the final number and reinforce the idea of interest. It can provide a great source of motivation for your kids if they understand that their money will grow over time as long as they don’t touch it.

Utilize Savings Jars

When your kids really want the latest and greatest toy or a new action figure, let them know they will have to save up for it.  Give them a jar for each of their desired purchases and offer them a small allowance each week in a denomination that encourages savings.

For example, if you give your child five dollars a week, give it to them in one dollar bills.  They can save all their cash for one purchase, or they can contribute to different “jars” for various savings goals.

To encourage saving up for their short-term goals, put a picture of their desired toy or item on the jar, so they have a visual reminder of what they are working towards.

Create a timeline

As a kid, the concepts of money and time can be hard to grasp. Research has shown that the impact of a one hour financial lesson wears off after about five months. In order to make the message stick, money education should be timely and ongoing.  If you know your child receives a $50 check for their birthday each year, the moment to talk about budgeting is right before receiving that check.

One way to keep money lessons ongoing is to create a timeline so that your child can visualize when they will reach their goal.

Let’s say you give them five dollars a week and they want to save up fifty dollars.  If they saved one hundred percent of their allowance, they’d reach their goal in ten weeks, or roughly three months.

Start by getting a long piece of paper and a marker.  Have $0 on one side and $50 (or whatever goal amount) on the other side.  Create checkpoints on the paper for when they reach 25%, 50% and 75% of their goal.

Every time an amount is saved, draw a line illustrating how much was saved.  Let your kids know that they will get small rewards at each checkpoint. Small rewards can encourage kids to keep going.  Visuals are also helpful in illustrating their savings goals and how their money is growing.

Lead by example

Children learn by example, so the best way to teach your child about saving money is to save money yourself.  Have your own jar of money that you put funds in regularly.  When you’re out shopping, show your children how to discern between various prices and explain why buying one item makes better sense than another.

Reiterate the message that every time you get paid, you save a portion to help prepare for the future.

One of the most important things you can do is to start a conversation about money and the importance of saving. Money doesn’t have to be scary or a taboo.  Use financial discussions as teachable moments. An innocent question such as “Are we rich?” can be answered in a way that emphasizes family values, such as hard work and responsible spending.

Let your children know they can have an allowance, but it’s up to them to save up for things they really want.  In addition, illustrate how much their money can grow over time if they save.

Also discuss the difference between needs and wants and tell your children you are always open to talking about money and new ways to save.  Ask them about what they want to save up for.  Ask them what they want their future to look like.

Asking good questions can get them to think long-term and have a positive relationship with money.

Tips adapted from Wingate Wealth Management.

COVID-19 Response Update

At MMCCU, we have been preparing for many different scenarios related to COVID-19, and this move did not come as a surprise to us. As part of the community, MMCCU is committed to doing our part to keep us safe and sound throughout ongoing developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Here are the important things to know right now:

•You have uninterrupted access to your funds and credit union services. Under the governor’s “Safer At Home” order, we are considered an essential service. You will therefore continue to have access to your funds through ATM, in-person, mobile banking and online banking.

•Your money is safe and insured. Your MMCCU accounts are insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the U.S. Government Agency regulating federally insured credit unions.

•MMCCU has a pandemic plan in place. We are prepared.

•YOU are our priority. We offer different options to help ease your financial burden at this time, including a new loan program.

Here’s what to know about the IRS and Taxes right now:

•The IRS moved the federal income tax filing deadline from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

•Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020 without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.

If you are struggling during this uncertain time, we can help! The federal government has finalized their relief package to assist all businesses and families impacted by this pandemic. We will continue to educate ourselves on these measures and communicate them to you.

We can help with:

·Consumer loan payment deferment

·Mortgage payment assistance

·Rent assistance

If you purchased disability, life, or involuntary unemployment debt protection on a loan with us and are having financial issues due to a protected loss, please contact us to file a claim or discuss what benefits may be available. If elected, the protection may cancel your loan balance or monthly payment in the event of a protected event, like a disability or period of involuntary unemployment. Please contact us for more information including terms and conditions.

We are always here to help! Please feel free to give us a call at 715-387-8686 .

Meet Tabitha Forman

Tabitha is a Central Wisconsin native originally from Loyal. She now lives in Marshfield with her husband, Bart. She began working at MMCCU in March 2000. Tabitha is a UWSP graduate with a BA degree in Communications.

Her favorite part of her job is the member interactions. In her free time, she participates in a middle ages reenactment group called the Society for Creative Anachronism and also participates in the Trivia contest at UWSP with a team called “Dad’s Computers.”

COVID-19 Update: Lobby Closure Begins March 23

To our valued MMCCU members,

As the news surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to develop, we promised to keep you informed of any changes that might affect how we conduct daily business.

In light of recent information and for the health and safety of our members and staff, we have decided to close lobby access as of Monday, March 23, until further notice. Our drive-thru lanes remain open for inquiries and transactions. We are also open by appointment for any other needs you may have. Feel free to call, email, or go through the drive-thru to request an appointment. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time!

We encourage you to follow us on social media for the latest updates. We also encourage you to take advantage of our convenient digital options, including:

  • Online Banking – Access your accounts online at the click of a button!
  • Visa Credit Login – Conveniently access your Visa credit accounts through our website.
  • Re-order Checks – Need to place an order for more checks? No problem! Just follow the link and it will take you through the process.
  • ATM Locations – If you need to withdraw cash, our no-fee ATM’s are available at various locations for your convenience.
  • Shared Branching – Access your accounts even when you’re not in the area, with help from CO-OP Shared Branching. (Check with host credit union during this time to see if they are open.)

Our goal is always to serve you, our members, in the best way possible while also keeping our team safe. As the situation progresses, we’ll continue to keep you updated.

To find the latest info, visit our website at www.mmccu.com or follow us on social media for updates.

We are happy to help with any questions or needs! Please feel free to call us at (715) 387-8686, or email us at mmccu@mmccu.com. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:30pm and Saturday, 8:00am-noon.

Stay healthy,

Your Team at MMCCU

Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union To Offer Member Relief Loan

Worried about paying your next rent or mortgage payment, or wondering how you’re going to pay for unexpected child care with schools shutting down? At Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union (MMCCU), we are here to help our members. Due to the COVID-19, we are offering a Member Relief Loan to assist our members needing help during this unprecedented time.

“We are doing this loan to help our members that have hit hard times in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jerry Litwaitis, VP of Lending. “We are here to serve our members and we felt this was the best way to do this.”

In a press released issued on March 18 at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) issued emergency guidance on character and fitness requirements for all payday and licensed lenders doing business in Wisconsin.

“The COVID-19 virus and the efforts to contain it have upended people’s lives across the globe. Events, travel, projects, and other economic activities have been cancelled or postponed, which means income that many were counting on a week ago is now uncertain or delayed,” said DFI Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “With 53% of Wisconsinites living paycheck-to-paycheck, people are going to need small loans to get through these hardships and many will be turning to lenders for help.”

As a member-based and member-strong local credit union, MMCCU feels it is important to help the community during this challenging time.

Please call 715.387.8686 to make an appointment with our lending department.

Loan Terms:

  • 36-payment loan
  • 90-day no payment
  • 2.99% APR*

*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. This rate is current as of 3-18-2020. One Member Relief Loan per member.  Maximum loan amount of $2,500.  This offer does not apply to the refinancing of a current credit union loan.  Payment example: 2.99% APR for 36 monthly payments following 90 days no payment due results in a monthly payment of $29.22 per $1,000 borrowed. Offer is available to current MMCCU members in good standing and subject to credit approval. All rates, terms and conditions are subject to change. Other rates and terms available. Program may be changed or discontinued at any time.  See a loan officer for further information.

A Message to Our Members During This Pandemic

To our valued MMCCU members,

As the news surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to develop, we will keep you informed of any changes that might affect how we conduct daily business.

Currently, MMCCU’s lobby remains open and we have increased our cleaning and sanitizing processes significantly. If at all possible, we encourage the use of our drive-thru lanes for safe and convenient access during this time. We also encourage you to take advantage of our convenient digital options, including:

  • Online Banking – Access your accounts online at the click of a button!
  • Visa Credit Login – Conveniently access your Visa credit accounts through our website.
  • Re-order Checks – Need to place an order for more checks? No problem! Just follow the link and it will take you through the process.
  • ATM Locations – If you need to withdraw cash, our no-fee ATM’s are available at various locations for your convenience.
  • Shared Branching – Access your accounts even when you’re not in the area, with help from CO-OP Shared Branching. (Check with host credit union during this time to see if they are open.)

Our goal is always to serve you, our members, in the best way possible while also keeping our team safe. As the situation progresses, we’ll continue to keep you updated. In the event that we do close our lobby, we will keep our drive-thru lanes open for inquiries and transactions. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

To find the latest info, visit our website at www.mmccu.com or follow us on social media for updates.

We are happy to help with any questions or needs! Please feel free to call us at (715) 387-8686, or email us at mmccu@mmccu.com. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:30pm and Saturday, 8:00am-noon.

Stay healthy,

Your Team at MMCCU

Be Wary of Scams During Coronavirus Pandemic

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) warns that fraudsters are leveraging fears over the coronavirus as an opportunity to scam financial institutions and consumers.

“We are aware of fraudulent emails looking like they are from the CDC and WHO providing information about the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Murphy, VP of Finance & Risk at Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union (MMCCU). “When the recipient clicks on the link, they are taken to a harmful website that may install malware or other malicious software onto the user’s computer.”

Other phishing attempts are happening where the fraudster is attempting to capture sensitive personal information from the recipient through email.

“Please pay close attention to the messages you are reading,” said Murphy. “If you are unaware of who is sending you the message, please do not open it and delete it immediately.”

To help protect yourself from scammers:

• Use only reputable sources when searching for information about the coronavirus.
• Be aware of phishing emails and never click unknown attachments or links.
• Be cautious of emails and phone calls offering unexpected information and asking for personal information.

MMCCU will never email asking for personal information.

“The credit union will never email you out of the blue requesting you to provide or confirm personal information, like your social security number, debit card number, or other personal information,” said Murphy. “Do not click on any links in emails you were not expecting or did not request.”

CUNA and MMCCU are following developments of the coronavirus disease and will provide updates as information and materials become available. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to MMCCU at 715.387-8686.

MMCCU Annual Meeting to be RESCHEDULED

UPDATE: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, MMCCU will be rescheduling their annual meeting. We will update this website as more information becomes available.

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